Toulon, Cote d'Azur

Toulon is the 4th largest French city on the Mediterranean coast.  The city  is also famous for being a central location in Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables".  It has the prison, Bagne of Toulon which was created by King Louis XV in 1748, where the novel's main character Jean Valjean spends 19 years in hard labor.  It is also the birthplace of the novel's "Javert".

The seafront along the port is a walking area lined with terrace cafes, souvenir shops, fishing boats, tour boats (for excursions of the marinas and the islands), yacht harbor and an imposing view of the warships of the naval base.

This city is also a large military harbor first built in 1599 and the French Mediterranean Fleet is currently based there.  It also has a Museum of the French Navy that was founded during the reign of Napoleon.

Mount Faron towers over the city and you can reach the top by cable car.  On the top of Mount Faron is the Allied Landing Museum and a memorial dedicated to the 1944 Allied landings there.

The streets of the city are impressively spotless and the buildings, although aged, are well maintained and still remind you of their former glory-days. 

Place de la Liberte Fountain

Georges Eugene Haussmann (1809-1891), known later as Baron Haussmann, started rebuilding the upper town area in 1849 when he was prefect of the Departement Var.  He went on to fame and fortune later when he was put in charge of major reconstructions in Paris.  However, the Place of Justice (seen above), Opera House (seen below), the Place de la Liberte, the Grand Hotel, Gardens of Alexander I, Chalucet Hospital, the Galeries Lafayette building and even the train station were noteworthy works he was involved with in this city.

We didn't spend a lot of time here because Marselles was the destination of our tour off the ship.  However, the city had some remarkable buildings and historical areas with museums that are worthy of a longer visit in the future.

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     By Carolynne Woods, © Copyright 2010-2020. International Travel   All rights reserved images and text